Bismarck Parks and Recreation District Wins Gold Medal Award
Bismarck Parks and Recreation District (BPRD) has been honored with the highest and most prestigious award attainable by a park and recreation agency; the 2017 Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.
BPRD was named one of the four Finalists for the award earlier this year. The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AARPA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and Musco Lighting, are sponsors of this award. The announcement was made during the Opening Session of the NRPA Annual Congress and Exhibition on Tuesday, September 26 in New Orleans, LA.
The Gold Medal Awards program honors communities throughout the U.S. that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition.
“Bismarck is already known as an amazing and supportive community. This prestigious honor recognizes the investments we are making in our programs, parks and facilities. We are very honored to be a two-time recipient of this Gold Medal Award. This places BPRD in a very rare category of park agencies, and we accept this award on behalf of the citizens of Bismarck,” said BPRD Executive Director Randy Bina.
BPRD is a past recipient of the award, receiving the NRPA Gold Medal Award in 1993, and being a finalist in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1999, 2016 and 2017.
Applications are separated into seven classes, with five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class for state park systems in odd numbered years. Agencies are judged on their ability to address the needs of those they serve through the collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials. BPRD is the winner in the Class IV (population 30,001 – 75,000) category and competed for the honor with three other agencies:
Alpharetta Recreation and Parks Department, Alpharetta, GA; Lombard Park District, Lombard, IL and City of Wheat Ridge Parks and Recreation Department, Wheat Ridge, CO.
BPRD Board of Park Commissioners President Wayne Munson said, “To be selected as one of the top park and recreation agencies in the country is a proud and historic moment. This award recognizes our past as well as the important work we do every day with eyes on a promising future. We’re both thrilled and humbled to be recognized for these efforts.”
After submitting a lengthy written application, BPRD was selected as a Finalist. A panel of five park and recreation professionals reviews and judges the application materials as well as a BPRD video. Judges are chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both the local and national levels.